MEMRI has published an account of the Benghazi Consulate attack via an article from the London-daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat. In it are details from the Libyan guards eyewitness accounts which detail they had very little practical training and had requested multiple times after the attacks in June 2012 for more weapons and security upgrades. One of the main eyewitness accounts details at least 50 men storming the consulate led by four masked men. When the guards called for backup after the consulate was assaulted, their calls went unanswered.
‘Ali, 33, was a member of several such Special Protection Units, comprising five to seven men who had received American-style “light” and “theoretical” training inside the consulate. ‘Ali and the other three members of his team, ‘Omar, Naji, and ‘Abd Al-Aziz, were on assignment to protect the embassy on the day of the attack.
One of the guards described one such “theoretical” training session: “Every Sunday… we occasionally received practical lessons, but it did not include shooting [firearms]… There was no practical training per se…”
In addition to the lack of practical training, the guards complained about the poor cooperation and lack of responsiveness on the part of the embassy. Following the June 2012 attack on the embassy, they requested upgrades to their weapons and improvement of the security tools at their disposal; however, according to one guard, “did not provide us with handguns… or with the weapons we requested, and did not provide us with helmets” after bullets from a nearby wedding fell inside the embassy compound.
One guard said that his team had received information on August 28, 2012 about a possible attack on the diplomatic compound from its unit (i.e. Special Protection Unit/February 17 Brigade), and that warning had remained in effect until September 11, the day of the attack. The guard added that on September 9, the unit had informed his team that there could be an attack on the compound in connection with an “anniversary related to the Gadhafi era.” The guard explained, “I think they indicated an anniversary of the African Union.”
Another guard said that on the morning of the attack, the consulate had asked the Libyan security unit assigned to it to increase the number of its security vehicles outside the compound to 10, and to send 25 additional guards – but that for an unknown reason, the consulate later cancelled that request.
‘Ali also said that an hour and a half prior to the attack he received a phone call from one of his friends warning him “non-specific[ally]” about possible demonstrations and disturbances in areas nearby. He decided not to report the phone call to the security team, but instead took it upon himself to personally investigate the matter.
No Back up came:
‘Ali said that at first he wasn’t certain that the attackers were aiming for the consulate, but that in any case he took cover and started firing at the top of the wall to stop them from entering the compound. The rest of his team members called for backup, in Arabic and English, but their calls went unanswered by both the Americans inside the embassy and by the February 17 Brigade headquarters less than two miles away. Team member ‘Abd Al-Aziz was hit in the shootout, but managed to escape to safety.
Read the whole thing.
Don’t miss this one either: Lebanese Columnist: Obama Policy Could Lead To Another 9/11
UPDATE II: Linked by Maggie’s Notebook, thank you!